Typhoons, transport restrictions increase Nov. inflation rate – NEDA

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) explained Friday that the spike in rate in November was due to recent devastating typhoons and transport restrictions due to quarantines.

The country recorded a 3.3% rate in November from 2.5% in October. This is faster than the 1.3% inflation rate in the same period last year.

Last month’s rate is also the highest since April 2019, at 3%.

November’s rate is also faster than the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ projection range of 2.4% to 3.2%.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) estimated that the total amount of damage and losses to the agriculture sector brought by typhoons Ofel, Nika, Pepito, Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses reached P15.3 billion.

The was the most devasted, followed by CALABARZON, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon.

“Our experience with the recent typhoons has highlighted the need for long-term engineering interventions, reforestation, and coordinated flood management systems across different LGUs and the need to intensify the distribution of climate-resilient technologies and other production support assistance to mitigate production loss in the agriculture sector,” acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said.

Typhoons, transport restrictions increase Nov. rate – NEDA

Chua added the Quick Response Fund (QRF) could be used to rehabilitate agriculture facilities and irrigation systems damaged by the strong typhoons.

The inflation for transport services remained high in the last six months due to the limited passenger capacity of all public transportation modes.

“To help ease the burden on public transport operators and drivers who have been adversely affected by the lockdowns, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) may also consider waiving some regulatory fees as well as expanding the efficient service contracting mechanism to incentivize continued operations and encourage even more public utility vehicles (PUV) to resume operations, given the reduced load capacity in adherence to minimum health standards,” Chua added.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno also said the impact of supply disruptions due to recent typhoons to inflation “is expected to be largely transitory.”

“The BSP stands ready to deploy its full arsenal of instruments, as needed, in fulfilment of its mandate to maintain price and financial stability conducive to sustainable economy growth and employment,” Diokno said.